Blabber Blabber Blabber is a collection of her earliest published work, the bulk of which has never before appeared in book form. It also includes her complete 1981 publication Girls and Boys (the whole book - even the endpapers!). These early comics are accompanied by lengthy, contextualizing, collage-based autobiographical/historical sections by Barry [watch for guest stars like Matt Groening and Gary Panter!]. Reading this book is a joyful experience.
I found it quite interesting, after absorbing her two previous "how to be creative" books (What it Is  and Picture This ), to see how evident Barry's thematic preoccupations have been from the earliest days of her career. She mines her early and inner lives not for autobiography, but for verisimilitude: Her work feels solid, feels "real," in ways that are poetic and crystalline, wild and dangerous, careful and carefree. I cannot recommend her work highly enough, and Blabber Blabber Blabber is a great place to start.
Blabber Blabber Blabber
[Everything. Volume 1, Collected and uncollected comics from around 1978-1982]
By Lynda Barry
Drawn and Quarterly, 2011
176 pages, $24.95
A shorter version of this review was originally published at Goodreads.